Green snow: Chicopee Tube Park recognized for sustainable tourism

Green snow at ChicopeeTubePark
Photo credit: Bill Jackson.
Chicopee Tube Park general manager Bob Harris lets his snow fly on Thursday morning amid the region’s first winter storm of the season.

To Bob Harris, natural snow is mainly marketing material.

Even as flakes were flying from the sky in blistering wind last week, the snow guns at Chicopee Tube Park were spewing more of the man-made stuff onto the hill, which is expected to open to the public this Friday.

“If it’s on front lawns, people know to come on out,” said Harris, the park’s general manager. “As far as physically supporting this activity, you need man-made snow. That’s all there is to it.”

Until 2013, the park was using four million gallons of municipal water per year to make it.
Harris used to oversee operations at Glen Eden Ski and Snowboard Centre near Milton, which draws water from Lake Kelso nearby.

“For me to have to come up here and pay for water it drove me crazy,” he said.

The tube park’s shareholders took a look at rising utility costs and determined the status quo couldn’t continue. That’s when Harris first embarked on his idea to recycle rain and melting snow from the 25-acre property that’s owned by the Grand River Conservation Authority.

This is an excerpt from an article originally published on Kitchener Post.

Travindy is an independent website featuring news and opinion on all issues to do with tourism and sustainability. Written primarily for an industry audience, our aim is to support the transformation of the sector into one that is regenerative, restorative and fully inclusive.

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